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The Underline founder named 2022 Commencement speaker

For nearly a decade, Meg Daly ’78 has put her heart and soul into the creation of a 10-mile linear park and trails on the underutilized swath of land underneath Miami’s Metrorail system, working to transform it into a lush space for gathering, recreation and art.
Her steadfast stewardship of the partially completed project known as The Underline, which she founded and directs, has served as a rallying point for many in the Miami and Ransom Everglades communities. That undertaking, along with her faithful commitment to her high school alma mater, merited her selection for the 2022 Ransom Everglades Founders’ Award for Distinguished Service to the Community and commencement speaker.

Daly, who attended The Everglades School for Girls and Ransom-Everglades School, will address the Class of 2022 at the Lewis Family Auditorium during the May 20 commencement, which takes place at 10 a.m. and will be livestreamed here.

“We are honored to celebrate the achievements of an alumna who has truly lived out Paul Ransom’s mission of leaving the world better than we find it, as well as the Everglades Creed ‘to achieve recognition – not in loud words but in worthy deeds,’” Head of School Penny Townsend said. “Meg has served many critical roles as she has shepherded this monumental project: architect, civic leader, community builder and boots-on-the-ground worker. She has amazed us and inspired us.”

It was in 2013 that Daly, forced to travel by Metrorail because she had two broken arms, observed the potential in the neglected pathway underneath the elevated tracks; she envisioned a vibrant community space along the lines of New York City’s High Line. That realization led to the massive initiative that will significantly alter Miami’s landscape when it is finished in 2025. Phase One, which is called Brickell Backyard, is complete, and Phase Two is underway. Phase Three, which will end at Dadeland, is up next.

Thanks to Daly’s efforts, many Ransom Everglades alumni have contributed to The Underline, most notably current board members Maurice Ferre ’13, Arden Karson ’80, Rudy Prio Touzet ’76 and Debi Weschsler ’78.

The Founders' Award for Distinguished Service recognizes alumni for service and commitment to the community. It is awarded to individuals who have been deeply concerned about their communities and who have demonstrated honor, courage and leadership, fulfilling the vision of the founders of Ransom and Everglades Schools.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this award that has been given to so many others I admire,” Daly said. “Being able to give back to the community that has given me so much and to be able work alongside my family and fellow alums has been a true gift. I credit Mrs. [Eleanor] Crawford and Ms. [Kitty] Proenza for teaching me to write and communicate effectively. Clear communication and storytelling is one of the best ways to inspire people with a big idea!”

After her graduation, Daly attended Vanderbilt University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English. She worked for two decades in marketing and public relations before founding The Underline. She is married to John Daly and they are parents of Alex Daly ’06.
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Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.